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Auto blogTue, 03 Dec 2013 10:59:00 EST
Volkswagen is no stranger to special editions, but its Touareg SUV has remained largely unspecial in terms of exclusive trims or unique packages. That's changed with the announcement of the Touareg X, a 1,000-unit run based on the V6 TDI Lux trim - mid-range diesel model, between the navigation-equipped TDI Sport and the TDI R-Line.
The already special Touareg gets 19-inch "Moab" wheels, LED taillights (to go along with its LED DRLs) and "Touareg X" badging, while all 1,000 units will be painted Moonlight Blue Pearl. Tweaks in the cabin are equally light, with a black-on-black-on-black color scheme dominating - black Vienna leather, a black headliner and piano black trim. Aluminum bits make an appearance in the form of the door sills and pedals, although that's about it.
Other than those few aesthetic tweaks, the Touareg X is equipped largely like the Touareg Lux on which it's based. That means navigation, a panoramic sunroof, power seats, LED running lights, dual-zone air conditioning and heated power seats, among other tech pieces. Pricing starts at $56,170, making for a slight bump of $1,195 over the standard Touareg Lux.
After surveying the European economic scene, Volkswagen may have decided now is not the time to launch utility vehicles with Bentley and Lamborghini badges. Bentley officials say they will continue to push for support for the EXP 9 F and Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelman has said planning for the Urus will continue until VW tells it to stop.
That decision could come on November 23, when VW's board will vote on the company's budget for equipment, factories and vehicles. With VW's sales slowing and the Euro economy slumping further, some industry watchers say the company is more likely to build its cash reserves than to introduce super-expensive luxury SUVs or crossovers.
"Such vehicles are anything but obligatory during a crisis," says Frankfurt-based Equinet AG analyst Tim Schuldt in a new Automotive News Europe story. "Delaying their launch would be no drama but help save costs."
The fight for unionization at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN, factory isn't letting up. Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board decided to allow anti-United Auto Workers employees at the plant the right to defend voting down the measure. Now, a group called the National Right to Work Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of five workers against VW and the UAW for allegedly working together to organize.
The group says in a release that it wants "to block further collusion between the company and the United Auto Workers." It alleges that VW forced workers to attend "mandatory pro-union meetings" and prevented managers from opposing. In a rebuttal on its website, the UAW called the claims "baseless" and said its actions were entirely legal.
One possible problem faces the carmaker in regards to the lawsuit. According to the Detroit Free Press, a recent US Court of Appeals ruling found that neutrality agreements like the one the business had with the UAW could be illegal if the company provided "things of value" to the union. The newspaper also claims that VW held a mandatory employee meeting concerning the election, but workers were free to leave during the UAW's presentation.